Diary of an Angry Young Man by Rishi Vohra

Sometimes I get emails from authors asking me to read and review a book. They often offer a free copy of the book for me to read. If the book has not been published, I will check out the author and the book to decide if I want to read and review it. If the book has already been published and I am interested in reading the book, I purchase a copy for myself. This was the case with Diary of an Angry Young Man. Mr. Vohra’s pitch drew me in immediately. I ended up reading the book in two days.

Raghav is a boy living with his family just outside of the slums of Colaba in Bombay in 1992. His father barely scrapes enough money together for their family of four to live.

The was a lot of unrest in India during Raghav’s childhood. The different religious factions were always fighting. One day, Raghav heard a commotion in the street. It was a mob of angry people attacking a young boy. Raghav was shocked that people of his religious sect were attacking this boy. He saved the boy by hiding him in his house and switching clothes with him so he could get away.

When his mother had a severe asthma attack, Raghev was left home while the family took her to the hospital. During this time, he was assaulted by the local creepy guy. When his family returned and told him that his mother was dead, Raghav’s anger at his assault and losing his mother came to a head. He ended up hanging in the local slums.

Photo by ritesh arya on Pexels.com

From the street kids, prostitutes, policemen, and other interesting characters, Raghav finds a kind of family. When he attempts to help an orphan, he starts on his road to redemption and out of the deep anger he holds within himself.

The story of Raghav drew me in and kept me reading late into the night. I needed to know how his story ended. I really enjoyed the book and will look for more from this author. You can find this book on Amazon or from your local independent book store.

For more info about the author, visit https://rishivohra.com.

Amazon link: Diary of an Angry Man

Thanks for reading.

Confessions of a Curious Bookseller by Elizabeth Green

If you have received any book recommendations from me or ready any of my book reviews, you are aware of my affinity for quirky characters.  When I read the description of Confessions of a Curious Bookseller by Elizabeth Green, I thought it matched the quirky character trope – an odd used bookstore owner with family issues? Sign me up!

Fawn Birchill is a forty-something single woman who is partially estranged from her family. She owns a failing used bookstore in Philadelphia.  She believes that her store has been a cornerstone of her community for the past twenty years.  She is semi-happily single. She has a cat and also feeds the strays in her alley.  She believes her three loyal employees are happy working for her.  When a young, hip bookstore opens down the street, with comfy chairs, a coffee bar, knowledgeable employees and weekend evening entertainment, her world is turned upside down.  Now she must deal with her employees abandoning her, her cat dying (wait until you read THAT part), caring (?) for her elderly renter Jane, much needed repairs to the store, the strained relationship with her family, and the trials of online dating.  She also must figure out what to do about her pen pal, whom she has created a whole false identity for herself. Talk about getting caught up in a fantasy of your own making!!

I really wanted to like this book. I did finish it. The ending was kind of anticlimactic. I had a hard time liking Fern. I believe the character suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder. For me this book fell short of my expectations just as Fern’s employees fell short of hers. 2.5 stars.

Prepping for a NEW YEAR

I haven’t stayed up until midnight on New Years Eve in years. Since 2020 has been such a dumpster fire, I have decided to stay up until midnight to make sure that 2020 actually ends. I’m sort of worried that I’m going to wake up tomorrow and see that the date is December 32, 2020. That would be so 2020!

During the month of December I have been working on plans for 2021.

  1. Health – I’ve started what, so far, is a helpful way to lose weight. NOOM. Someone I know lost 100 pounds using this service so I thought I’d try. So far I am down 6 pounds! It is a very different approach towards weight loss. More info to come in the new year as I chronicle my journey. Mike and I are also starting to exercise more and plan to make it a habit in 2021.
  2. Career – Since work has changed so much this year, I have been feeling uninspired and unfulfilled. I have decided to work on taking my passion for crafting to the next level. I’ve been listening to the “Don’t Keep Your Day Job” podcast and have really been inspired to find how I can make the world a better place through my passion of crafting. Things currently in the works:
    • Craft videos on YouTube in the hopes of getting a good enough following to monetize my craft videos.
    • Creating a plan to sell my crafts on Etsy, Facebook Marketplace, craft shows, etc. I am making a list of what to make in preparation for upcoming holidays and celebrations.
    • Planning a way to start doing at-home craft parties once we all get Covid-19 under control.
    • Collaborating with two friends on a really cool videography project.
  3. Reading – Increase my reading and book review blog posts by creating a calendar to remind myself to post reviews to my blog twice a month.
  4. Brainstorming on a podcast idea I have.

So, those are my big plans to make 2021 the best year ever.

What are your plans for 2021? Do you plan to stay up until midnight? Do you have a craft you would like me to create a video for? Do you have any book recommendations for me? How about a healthy recipe or an exercise for me to add to our getting healthy plan? Please drop me a note below and I promise to send you a great big thank you!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

The origin of my love of reading and a review of a heartwarming and funny book.

When you read advanced reader copies and post reviews, sometimes you get into a funk. Lately, even though I’ve been offered some good books to read, I have not been inspired by anything. Sometimes the best reads are recommended by your mom!

First, let me tell you about my mother. She is the one who shared her love of good books with me when I was a child. I have many happy memories of her reading to me and my three brothers when we were kids. A favorite of ours was the Poky Little Puppy. So many times my wonderful mother would fall asleep reading this book to us. All these years later, I still get sleepy and start to nod off when I see this cover.

So, my mom and I often talk about books we are reading, we want to read, or we have read. As we talk about them, our to be read piles grow exponentially. Some of the authors we have shared with each other – Preston & Child, Adriana Trigiani, Frederik Backman, Richard Adams – and so many more. The latest recommendation from my mom, Patricia, was The Tour by Jean Grainger. Mom told me how much she was enjoying the book and I immediately went onto Amazon and downloaded the e-book. I started reading on the evening of October 18, 2020 and finished in the wee hours of October 22, 2020. I devoured this book.

If you enjoyed all of Maeve Binchey’s books, you will love this story of a group of American tourist who are on a bus tour of Ireland. The characters in this story all seem so real. There is the easy-on-the-eyes and warm hearted tour bus driver, the snooty academic, the neglected housewife and her bombastic idiot of a husband, the mysterious Texan, two individuals who came to learn more about their Irish roots, the hot mess of a Mom who drags her antisocial musician son to Ireland to find a new sugar daddy, and the grieving, mousey widow trying to move on. This book is a masterclass in how to take a group of unrelated characters and have them change each others lives. I loved this book and can’t wait to read more in this series (YES!! There are more books in this series). I know I haven’t given many details about the book itself or what happens. I want you all to experience it yourself – no spoilers.

I think one of the reasons that this book resonated with me is the fact that I have been on a bus tour…with my mom. Yes, the same mom that recommended this book. Funny how that worked out, isn’t it?

In the 90s, Mom and I took a bus tour of South Dakota with the St. Joseph’s Indian School. This is a school that my grandmother started donating to when my mom was a child. We saw Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse monuments, which were amazing. Even more amazing, the Black Hills and Badlands National Park. It was an inspiring and fun trip. As the youngest one the bus, I was so inspired by one particular tour member. She was in her 80s and only had one lung…yet she kept up with all of us. I don’t think I could do that NOW!

So, in this Covid-19 world, my suggestion is to do your traveling through books. Pick up The Tour and go on a bus tour of Ireland!!

I hope you all have a safe and healthy Thanksgiving.

Review – In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

Dannie has a 5 year plan. In 5 years she will be a partner in her law firm and married to her fiancé. When she has a dream vision about her future, it is quite different from her 5 year plan.

Will Dannie marry her fiance? Or will the dream come true? To find out you will have to read the book. You will meet family, friends, and coworkers from Dannie’s life and see what actually happens In Five Years.

I really enjoyed the book. It touched on all the feels. The book releases on March 10, 2020, so keep an eye out at your local library, independent bookstore, or preorder at Amazon.

Thanks for reading.

August 1 – 10, 2019 – reading for pleasure

Because I do a lot of ARC (advanced reader copy) reading as well as book club reading, I don’t often get a chance to read for pleasure. In July my goal was to read children’s books. For the month of August, I’m going to read for pleasure only. Here is what I’ve read, so far.

Circe by Madeline Miller

I have always loved mythology: Greek, Norse, Native American, to name a few. When Circe came out it was so popular that I was reluctant to read it. I’m one of those people who reads to the beat of my own drum. I don’t normally read what is on the best sellers lists. For some reason, I decided to read it. I just finished it three days ago and I have to say – I LOVED IT! I plan on going back and reading ALL of Madeline Millers books. This telling of the story of Circe, the daughter of the sun god Helios. Part Clash of the Titans, part family saga, the author writes in such a way that you get sucked into the story and don’t want to put it down. Highly recommended.

Educated by Tara Westover

My most recent “back and forth to work” audiobook had me wanting my commute to last longer. Educated tells the story Tara Westover and how she went from her childhood in an “off the grid” survivalist family to a woman with a PhD. Tara’s parents did not believe in public schools, traditional medicine or any governmental agencies. According to their beliefs, public school education corrupts and the government is out to get them. The author’s tale of abuse and neglect is harrowing. While telling what happened to her and how she managed to not only educate herself, but go to Cambridge and Harvard, she manages to still express her love for her family. An awe inspiring book.

Next on my TBR for pleasure list: The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury.

My book review made the August 2019 edition of Library Reads

A while back I read an advanced readers copy of Ellie and the Harp Maker by Hazel Prior. I make not apologies about liking to read books about quirky characters and this book fits that description.

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Library Reads and asked if they can use my review. How thrilling!!! I said yes and approved their edited version of my review.

Here is the link to the August 2019 Library Reads list. Go check it out.

Thanks for reading!

Found by Salina Yoon

I’m back to my juvenile picture books!! YAY!!!

In Found by Salina Yoon, Bear finds a stuffed rabbit toy in the woods.  He know someone must be missing this bunny, so he makes FOUND flyers and puts them up everywhere.  No one comes to claim the bunny. Bear wishes that the bunny was his and decides to take him on a picnic and a bike ride.  While out riding, Moose sees him and yells “FLUFFY BUNNY”.  Turns out the bunny belonged to Moose when he was younger. Bear gave Moose the bunny and was sad. Moose decided that Fluffy Bunny needed to be in a new home and gave him to Bear.  Everyone was happy.

****Cute, short book.  Illustrations were adorable.

Thanks for reading!